May 2020 Museum Musings

How are you surviving? 

Westford Historical Society’s COVID-19 Digital Time Capsule

What would you like your children and grandchild to remember or know about the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your reflections, adventures, pictures and videos and with your permission we will post them on to our website. Then on December 31, 2020, we will lock your submissions away in a digital time capsule to be posted on the historical society’s website 20 years from now, May 2040. Your contribution to the time capsule does not need to be posted to our website at this time, but we would like to share it in 20 years.

Here are a few suggestions of pandemic reflections you can share.

Stories on cancelled events such as weddings, school, graduations, etc.
How have you entertained yourselves as you sheltered at home
Are you working from home or are you an essential worker, how did that effect your family?
Are you homeschooling your children?
Have you started a new project or have a new hobby such as photography, drawings, paintings, sewing?
Your personal digital content and social media posts

What do you want your children and grandchildren to remember about this pandemic in 20 years? Submit your COVID-19 reflections to Linda Greene, Museum Director to put into our digital time capsule.

Here is what a few of your WHS Board Members have been doing and noticing during the pandemic.

Jeanne Union: I’m taking two ballet classes a week via zoom – and before the stay at home decree I was lucky if I took one each week.  No excuses, no commuting, no problem!  I’m also refreshing my French language skills using Duolingo.

Denise Vuilleumier: I’ve continued to go to the office everyday during the pandemic as the business I work for is deemed essential.  We design and construct large concrete water tanks for municipalities (think 1-30 million gallons).  As one of four still in the office, it’s a whole new norm.  So, my days are filled with helping to keep safe 500 field employees working on project sites around the US while also helping to keep our 150 now remote office employees engaged, safe, and well – sane.  And while I would love to say that I am being creative, painting and taking beautiful hikes – that would be a lie.  I’m too exhausted.  Alyssa and I have found the time to sew a couple of dozen face masks and make our way through a couple of Netflix series.  It is nice to use the 4H sewing skills for more than pillows! Stay safe – miss seeing everyone!

Jim Clark: Carolyn and I have been hunkering down, staying isolated.
On sunny days we do a lot of yard work — burning fallen pine branches, pruning forsythia, cutting down a birch tree, etc.  If it’s raining, we do inside projects, sort through old papers, watch the news on CNN and MSNBC, or I read Jill Lepore’s These Truths, a dense and very detailed history of the U.S.  We’ve been enjoying the quiet life.

Kelly Ross, Treasurer: The thing that strikes me most about the effect of COVID-19 in town is how much it has changed the town center. With Town Hall, the Museum, the Library, The Parish Center for the Arts, the First Parish Church, Roudenbush, and Roudenbush at Frost, the town center is normally full of activity. Now whenever I drive through, even at morning rush hour time, the town center seems almost like a ghost town.

Dan Lacroix, Vice President: April is usually a very busy time for those of us who commemorate the first days of the American Revolution, and in particular, the events of April 19th, 1775. While we’ve participated in the annual Col. John Robinson Trail walk in all sorts of weather conditions, there was no question that we had to cancel the event this year.  Since April 19th fell on a Sunday this year, my family and I decided to at least walk the last 4 of the 10 miles from Westford to the North Bridge. It was a beautiful day, and a great reason to get out of the house!

Leslie Howard, President: My days are spent with my three young children and my husband who is now working from home. We are busy with schoolwork and remote learning while getting outside as much as we can! The littlest is just happy to have her whole family home with her! We participated in the Westford Bear Hunt and have done Birthday Parades. I’ve been sewing masks and scrub caps for my friend and her coworkers at MGH, as well as others. We’ve been doing a lot of FaceTime and Zoom, but miss seeing our friends and going to our activities around town. Now that I’m not going to the grocery store, I’m realizing just how much I used to just “run into Market Basket.” I’m looking forward to an iced latte from Starbucks!

 

Linda Greene, Director: How has the pandemic affected my life? Social distancing is horrible, while Zoom has been a great way to connect with family and friends, I miss hugging my mom.  I hate wearing a face mask (which feels more like a blanket across my face) when out grocery shopping. I am walking more than I have since I was high school, and I have recently discovered I like doing jigsaw puzzles. I have a couple disinfected puzzles I can share.

 

Lisa Sama and John Forcucci: Lisa and John have been enjoying exploring Westford’s trails and taking lots of pictures. Here is the collection of pictures they have put together for you.

Submit your Covid-19 story, pictures, letter or notices to Linda Greene at director@museum.westford.org

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We need your help

The Westford Historical Society would very much appreciate your support during this trying time in our nation’s history. Never in our lifetime have we seen a pandemic as the likes of CovId -19 and how it has affected our daily routine. The Society, like many non-profit  institutions, is feeling the financial burden. We are asking you today if you could make a  donation to help us cover our operating expenses, so we can continue to house, protect and preserve Westford’s history. Donation are welcome through PayPal or mail a check to Westford Historical Society, P.O.Box 411 Westford MA

Notable of the Month

Eva Mae Lord (1889 – 1960) 

“Mae Lord became the nurse at the Abbot Worsted Company, a position that she held for the rest of her life.  She played a big part in the health of the people in Forge Village and, from what I’ve been told, she didn’t want any recognition. I remember my Uncle Billy (Kelly) telling the story of how the people in Forge once threw a big party for her, and she clearly didn’t like it. Miss Lord also was the Girl Scout troop leader in Forge.”  According to Shirley (Kelly) Contreras 

On 25 March 1911, the Westford Wardsman announced: “Miss May Lord, one of the village’s popular young ladies, has resigned her position with the Abbot Worsted Company to take up a course in nursing.  Miss Lord enters upon her new duties April 1st.”  Eva completed her training and then served in World War I in the Army Nursing Corps in France.  The Westford Town Report for 1919, page 67, indicated Eva M. Lord served at Base Hospital No. 66, A.E.F.[1]  After her return from France, EVA MAE LORD was both the town nurse and the school nurse from 1919 until her resignation in September of 1922.  The 1920 census showed her as a “nurse, board of health.”  In 1920 her annual salary was $1500.[2]  In the 1930 census, she was identified as a graduate nurse, working at the woolen mill.  Eva Mae Lord was born in New Hampshire in 1889 and died at Westford, 24 June 1960, age 71, the daughter of David and Ada (Bishop) Lord.   Eva had two sisters and a brother born at Westford:  Marion E. Lord, born 28 Mar. 1892 who died 4 May 1968, age 76, single; Helen Jennie Lord,[3] born 4 Nov. 1890 and Phillip Lord, born 7 May 1894. Their father, David Lord, born at Manchester, NH, was a granite cutter and their mother, Ada, was born in England.

[1]  Base Hospital No. 66 was in Neufchateau, France. A.E.F., 
American Expeditionary Forces.

[2]  Annual Report, Town of Westford, year ending 1920.  p. 37.

[3]  Eva’s sister, Helen J. Lord, graduated from the nursing program at Framingham Union Hospital in 1915.  She served in the Navy in WWI and WWII. “Lt. Comdr. Helen J. Lord, USN (NC), Newtown Road, Littleton, Mass. senior Navy nurse in New England rounds out 28 years of service after duty throughout the United States and its possessions in two wars.” (From May 10, 1946 Official Naval photograph)

Marilyn Day: The Physicians of Westford MA 1740-1950 pgs. 150-151

New to our Website

Have you seen our new video slideshows on our website?  They were created from calendars that were researched and created by Marilyn Day. Slideshows designed by Alina Jeng (Click on links below to view)

The Fire Companies of Westford, Mass (2005)

Where has all the Granite Gone (2003)

Memoriam
(Click to read obituaries)
Shirley McGrath (March 23, 1929- April 14, 2020)

John Fanning  (August 14, 1926 – April 2, 2020)